New, Old Life on Earth

Finding Alien Life

On Earth?
On Earth? | Source

The Expedition

The Telegraph, last year reported that a British team would, this October be searching for new, old life on this planet.

This search will take place in the Antarctic.

The team has found a lake, perhaps the size of England's Lake Windermere. The problem is that this lake is situated under 3 km of solid ice.

The team has been planning this expedition for 15 years but has only now amassed the expertise and equipment that they believe they need to successfully carry out their task.

Amongst the equipment is a hot water drill, which they hope will be able to cut through the ice in just a matter of hours. One of the big problems though, is that they have to move about 70 Tones of equipment to the site, and then spend several days collecting samples of sediment, from the bottom of the lake and water samples from the lake itself. All from a place: that is perhaps the coldest and windiest on Earth, with temperatures as low as -25 Degrees C.

Results

If successful, the team hopes to find life forms that have been sealed off from the rest of the World for up to one million years.

It is hoped that these life forms will give an insight as to how life evolved on the planet.

It is also hoped to find out how life forms can exist in such isolated and extreme conditions, all of which may help other scientists in their search for life on other planets.

This lake, Lake Ellsworth, is not the only lake of its kind and the Russians have been trying to do the same thing on a different lake. However the Russian team has been fraught with troubles over the last several years, something that the British team is hoping to avoid.

Why?

Now I can understand everything about this research and can understand how they may think that these bacteria or what ever can give them a clue as to what life was like on Earth a million years ago.

The part that I do not understand though is: why should they suppose that evolution has not taken place in these life forms, just as it did on the rest of the planet?

We have seen so often, how different versions of the same species, have adapted differently in order to adapt to their own particular environments.

Why then, should these species not have evolved?

OK, for a lake the size of Windermere, I doubt that there would be any species as big as us but there could be several fairly large fish or other aquatic life forms.

Why is it that scientists seem to be blinkered, in thinking that we, humans, evolved in the best way possible? Surely it must be possible that amongst life forms evolving separately from humans, intelligent life could still have developed in its own way?

Having said that I welcome seeing their results and applaud them in first exploring what our own planet has to offer, prior to searching for new ground in space. If more of the money spent on space exploration, was spent in a similar manner to this, then it may still, in the end, speed up their search for alien life.

These scientists should not though, try too hard to guess what they may find: I still believe that our own planet has many more surprises left for mankind.

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